Looking at America from the outside, one would think that there is an ever-present hail of gunfire, a constant threat of being involved in out of control car chases, and an array of exceptionally talented doctors and lawyers who live for their work and have a terrible time being faithful or falling in love.

Well when you visit, you find that is not the norm at all. In most cases, the lawyers and doctors are reasonably well-adjusted, and though not necessarily dull, they are relatively regular and skillful. Car chases do happen, but they are typically short-lived and end in a frighteningly normal, uninspiring fashion, usually a missed turn or by being bumped off the road. The bullets thing, however, is real…well…not so much, but you can go shooting and pretend it is.

Guns are America

Going back to a time of the foundation of the United States of America, we see that the founders of the country determined that there should be a need for an amendment to the Constitution that provides for the right to bear arms. Now, how that is all interpreted is some piece of business, but for now, in the U.S. it means you can pretty much go into any town and find a gun dealer. There are significant regulations for the purchase of firearms, but if you have a clean criminal record, are a citizen, and have the cash, you can be background checked and out of the door with the weapon of your choice.

Just Traveling Through

If you are just traveling through, what sort of opportunities are there for you to do some shootin’? That depends on how you interpret the laws of the United States. It boils down to the word “possess.” It is unlawful for a non-immigrant alien in the U.S. to “possess and receive firearms and ammunition in the United States’ unless they have a valid hunting license; are an authorized agent of a foreign military service; a foreign dignitary; a competitor in a shooting event or gun contest; a salesperson or representative of a firearms maker or dealer, etc.

What does that mean to you, fellow traveler? Either you should get a hunting license or like many who are unsure of the law, go to a gun shop or firing range with a resident friend who will allow you to do some shooting with their guns and ammunition.

Some Types to Try

What you can shoot depends on the friend and the range and if you can get a license or not. If you can get a license, the doors open up pretty wide. You can try out gun clubs with stocked birds; you can go to private ranches that stock all types of trophy animals, you can join in with friends or guides for hunts in the U.S. wild. Or you can just sit out on some Montana prairie and plink away at pocket gophers from a half mile away with a .223 with high powered optics and a great rangefinder.

If you cannot get a license, shooting at gun clubs or ranges may be your only legal option. Your friend may have to escort you in and load the weapon for you to fire. Still fun and a still great way to spend a day together with friends and participate in an American tradition.